My name is Suzanne and I love sign painting.
I love measuring and cutting the MDO plywood with my jigsaw. I love priming and painting the plywood with a roller, front and back, to make a sign blank. I love laying out the sign design and perforating the pattern. I love fonts. I love One Shot Lettering Paint and all its colors. I love lettering quills and brushes. I love choosing just the right colors for each sign. I love getting the paint adjusted on the brush by spreading it on a palette. I really love painting letters and designs… and shadows and outlines and highlights… I love doing my best. I love the satisfaction of finishing a sign and standing back to look at it. I even love the inevitable small imperfections. I love having a customer or friend compliment my work. I am very sad that times have changed and computer technology swallowed up my beloved job…
I know there are people out there that still want old fashioned hand lettered signs though… people that appreciate the skill and the look of hand painted signs…
I am 65 years old now. I apprenticed in two commercial sign shops in Charlotte NC in the mid-1970’s. Then I started my own sign business called She Paints Signs, in Charlotte. My sign work was respected and in demand. I never had to advertise to get jobs. Those were the good old days for any sign painter… before computer signs. I moved my sign business to Beaufort NC in 1983. It took very little effort to get my sign business going again with plenty of work coming in again. I decided to close my sign business in 1988 to be a full time stay at home mom to my two young children. When I tried to start my sign business again in the 90’s, I was in for a rude awakening… Sign painters were no longer in demand and computerized sign shops had completely taken over. I spent a few years doing bookkeeping for a local sign shop and I was only asked to paint one sign while I was there.
Now, almost 40 years after learning how to paint signs for a living, I live near Dunn NC. I believe the time is right to reprise my sign painting business. What goes around comes around… and the retro look is very popular. My sign painting skills are still sharp. I can offer a service that few sign shops in the whole country offer any more. Some people prefer hand painted signs, and I love to paint signs! My prices are reasonable and I guarantee satisfaction with my work.
I also do some rustic hand painted wood working projects. Please look through my photo galleries.
Sign Painting Links
Suzanne’s hand-picked list of sign painter websites:
typarchive.com and typarchive.com/galleries/hand-painted/
This is an excellent collection of photos of world-wide hand crafted lettering, vintage signs, and typography.
Design elements clipart.
Retired sign painter John Hodgins just can’t give it up, still painting paper banners…
Signs101.com forums, Plywood sign advice thread.
Flickr Groups, Hand Painted Signs of the World, large collection of photos
Check out the Gallery in Casey Kennell’s website. He is a sign painting & pin striping pro from Somerset, PA
A sign painter out of Seattle, WA
A great collection of photos of hand painted & hand crafted signs and a sentimental treatise to the demise of the craft
Frank Yetman’s hand painted signs, Spring Valley, CA
New Bohemia’s signs can be seen all over San Francisco
HandpaintedType is a project that is dedicated to preserving the typographic practice of street painters around India. Some very cool fonts.
Big Top Sign Arts, John Lennig, located on the west coast of Canada
“Sign Your Life Away,” turning hand lettering into fine art, a gallery showing in San Francisco and Jeff Canham’s sign painting: www.jeffcanham.com/work/sign-painting/
Sign Painter Movie Blog
A documentary movie that is in production.
Sign Painter Movie Twitter
Also see Sign Painter Movie’s photostream on Flickr: Photos and People
“Support Your Local Sign Painter” T-shirts
Kenneth Boyer, Graphic Artist from British Columbia has written “A Brief Discussion of Hand Lettered Signs” with photos.
Wayne Osborne in the UK, Osborne Signs, Traditional Sign Writing, hand crafted and hand painted
The Letterville Bullboard (Forum)
The Letterheads, “Keepers of the Craft,” started 30 yrs ago
Sign painters on Facebook:
Karbo’s Hand Painted Signs, Yellville, AR
Pierre Tardif, Sign Painter in Canada — his website
Dave Smith, Gold Leaf Sign Artist in Torquay, Devon, UK — his website
David A. Smith Sign Artist, amazing video. He is by far one of the most talented people ever at gold leaf and gilding.
Gary Martin, a great sign painter in Austin TX — his website
Wade Dunn is a very talented artist and sign painter in New Bern, NC — his website
Pre-Vinlyite Society is a FB group to support saving the art and skill of sign painting
My own Facebook page for my signs
A few links for sign painting supplies:
Southeastern Sign supply in Apex NC
The Letterheads sign supplies links page
Dick Blick Famous One Shot Lettering Enamels